Er hat die selbe Kamera wie ich.

I would normally want to say “gleiche” here, not “selbe”. I was taught that “selbe” means that it is the same physical object, i.e. if two people did photography with one camera at different times. Whereas “gleiche” would mean that the person owns the same model of camera, but a distinct physical object.

Can a native speaker correct me here? Is “selbe” one of these things that is technically incorrect, but common in casual speech when context makes it clear? Sort of like something that would be “slightly wrong” but people say it anyway? Or is it a perfectly valid and correct usage? Or is there perhaps a problem with this sentence and its translation?

What you have been taught is correct. However, in daily speech, we do not really differentiate between the two as the meaning is clear from context. The difference between gleiche and selbe is only important when there is no context to take as a point of reference.

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That makes perfect sense; thanks!